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Hall of Fire log: Treebeard

April 26, 2013 at 9:23 pm by Demosthenes  - 

Barliman's Chat Last weekend, the Hall of Fire crew delved into the Two Towers chapter Treebeard. Belatedly, for those who couldn’t attend, here’s a log. It’s a bit choppy to start but bear with it — my fault for still being half asleep when we kicked off.

Also, TORn regular Puma linked this excellent Youtube video of JRR Tolkien reading from the chapter when the Ents come from Entmoot to march on Isengard.


Session Start: Sun Apr 21 07:26:47 2013
Session Ident: #thehalloffire

* Demosthenes changes topic to ‘Today’s topic: The Two Towers. Treebeard!!! | General TORn chat thataway! click –] #theonering.net’
[Demosthenes] Let’s start and people can catch up?
[Jenniearcheo] It’s more involved than I remember
[Xanaseb] tis the looooong one yup?
[Demosthenes] jennie: truth
[sunshower] it is long
[Erestel] Hello! What’s the current Treebeard discussion?
[Pete_R] No, Jennie, I was imitating that famous Ent from Brooklyn, Ralph Kramden
[Darkover] Mae govannen, all!
[sunshower] let’s!
[Puma] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPV63iW6gFM
[Xanaseb] yup :)
[Jenniearcheo] Erestel: We are discussing the unexpected length of the chapter
[Puma] that link is a good way to start
[sunshower] haha Jenniearcheo
[Jenniearcheo] lol Pete
[Puma] jrr himself
[Demosthenes] jennie: i like that as a starting point. It’s surprising … and yet not really.
[Xanaseb] haha nice Puma.
[sunshower] fits with Ent talk
[Xanaseb] indeeed
[Xanaseb] very well hehe
[Puma] nothing like the masters voice
[Jenniearcheo] Well, no forest is worth describing if it doesn’t take a long time to describe.
[Pete_R] I love hearing Tolkien read his stries
[Agonold] It takes a while to say anything in entish, let alone read about such amazing creatures ;)
[Xanaseb] o.o though his ‘to Isengard’ really grates the ears lolol
[Puma] its upposed to
[Xanaseb] yup, desired effect
[Erestel] Ah, yes. A chapter as slow as the mannerisms of the old ent himself.
[Puma] hobbits covered their ears
[laughing_gull] I love that, never heard it before
[Jenniearcheo] I’m more interested in their on-again-off-again relationship with the elves
[Darkover] Jennie, I got the impression the Elves were interested in the Elves once, but no longer
[Jenniearcheo] hah
[Darkover] sorry, Ents
[Jenniearcheo] Oh, I thought you meant that.
[Puma] well.to me this chapter introduces us to one of most original creatures in all literature
[Darkover] By this Age, the Elves weren’t interested in much except the past
[Jenniearcheo] As they’re fading, and all
[sunshower] self centered those Elves
[Pete_R] but elves are always interested in elves. :-)
[Darkover] yes, I was unitentionally funny
[Puma] gday Darkover
[Agonold] On Jennie’s point, if anyone here plays LOTRO, an elf complete nerds out when he gets to meet an ent.
[Darkover] howdy, Puma
[Xanaseb] lol.
[Demosthenes] puma: i think it’s more than just their appearance.
[Agonold] It’s like a little kid meeting mickey mouse
[Xanaseb] well, I think the Ents are quite their own overall.. though it’s hinted that they were more.. open?.. in the past
[Demosthenes] There are plenty of novel-looking creatures dished out in fantasy settings.
[Puma] well….other than ents teaching ents to speak…and yes.treebeard had met celeborn and galadriel…we dont know of any ent/elf interaction
[Erestel] When’s that, Agonold? I remember killing a rouge ent at one point and meeting one on the shores of Nenuial.
[Erestel] *rogue
[Agonold] Erestel, its during the epic quest, you meet him just outside of the raided orc camp near the end of the entwash arc with the rest of the crew.
[Puma] so where shall we start?
[Demosthenes] What makes ents unique?
[Jenniearcheo] Apart from the walking trees thing?
[Xanaseb] what makes them unique ??????!!…..
[Xanaseb] lol……
[miriel] dems: everything? :P
[Puma] well….many things make ents unique
[Puma] language
[Darkover] I’m not sure they would say Ents are unique. They remind me of male dryads, actually
[Jenniearcheo] Not many other species transmogrify between plant and critter and back
[Pete_R] and sentient (?) thought
[Darkover] I think dryads were originally female, I mean
[Xanaseb] Darkover… unique in Middle-Earth anyhow
[Puma] i dont know of any middle earth creature as strong as ents
[Darkover] true, Xanaseb
[laughing_gull] I think their relative unknown-ness makes them pretty unique in Middle-Earth
[Darkover] Trolls are, I think, but then, trolls are the dark version of Ents, I believe
[Jenniearcheo] They stand up in the rain to sleep?
[Darkover] as orcs are of elves
[Pete_R] I’d like to see a wresting match between an ent and a troll
[Agonold] according to Treebeard, Sauron was jealous and based trolls off of the ents.
[Xanaseb] lol Pete inded.
[Darkover] Right, Agonold, as I just said
[Erestel] I’d say an ent is stronger than a troll. Trolls can’t split stone with their voice.
[Puma] trolls/ent was just treebeards theory….he is not all knowing
[miriel] indeed Darkover and Agonold
[Darkover] neither can Ents, so far as I know, Erestel
[Darkover] they can tear stone as if it is paper, but not with their voices
[Pete_R] I aree, Erestel, but I still would like to see them fight :-)
[Puma] yes.ents did split stone with their voices
[Erestel] I remember something being said about the power of their voice in battle, during the battle of Isengard.
[Darkover] Maybe it is just as well it takes time for an Ent to make up his mind about a person–not a good idea to get on their bad side
[Puma] it is there Erestel
[Pete_R] but it makes sense, Ouma, since he made orcs based on (eand from) elves
[Pete_R] Puma, not Ouma
[Puma] no.jrr had many theories about orc origins
[Darkover] After all, Puma, neither Sauron nor Morgoth could create–they could only corrupt
[Puma] he decided it was not elves
[Pete_R] since when? I didn;t read that
[Darkover] I don’t recall that, either, Puma
[laughing_gull] I’m pretty sure in LOTR they originated from elves
[sunshower] Treebeard mentions that these Orcs may be corrupted men?
[Puma] have you read HOME 10-11.its in one of those 2
[Demosthenes] I wondered, reading this chapter, whether Ents were the most patient creatures in middle-earth … or the greatest brooders.
[Pete_R] He did say that, and if he recanted later, I missed it
[Darkover] Maybe both, Demosthenes
[Demosthenes] (maybe one is just the flipside of the other)
[Demosthenes] GMTA Darkover
[miriel] the slowest, certainly
[Erestel] There were several different explanations for the origins of Orcs, but as far as I know the only one that made it into official canon is Elf corruption by Morgoth.
[Jenniearcheo] The ultimate Middle Earth couch potatoes
[Puma] i think ents are like the forest….not seeming to do much
[Pete_R] Well, ents *are* slow to anger, so that makes them patient, I guess
[Xanaseb] I think they are devoid of many of the characteristics of humans, elves and dwarves.. the nastier sorts…
[Darkover] GMTA? Demosthenes?
[Xanaseb] well there’s no evidence for it in anycase
[laughing_gull] They are slow and contemplative but that makes them grow strong
[sunshower] well, Pete_R–Treebeard did have a bit of an outburst right off the bat
[laughing_gull] so I wouldn’t call them couch potatoes
[Puma] true Xana….right off treebeard treats the hobbit in a kindly manner
[sunshower] he did catch himself though
[Jenniearcheo] Great minds, Darkover
[Demosthenes] But we see that Treebeard has been thinking a long long time … and that seems to play into the extent of their anger when they do get annoyed.
[Darkover] Thank you, Jennie
[Pete_R] which outburst, sunshower?
[sunshower] “I will stop it” he boomed
[Demosthenes] In fact, Treebeard says that his first instinct was to squash merry and pippin.
[Puma] till he heard their voices
[Pete_R] but thankfully, he wasn’t hasty
[Demosthenes] Ents are a bit wild?
[Darkover] Happily, he didn’t. Again, it’s a good thing Ents aren’t “hasty.”
[Puma] yes
[Pete_R] I guess that shows that ents *can* act quickly, if ned be.
[Puma] ents are the wild side of nature
[Puma] entwives the tame side of nature
[Jenniearcheo] laughing_gull: My point was the fact that Treebeard had known for some time about Saruman’s dirty deeds but admits he should have done something and didn’t. Then, too, sometimes ents become treelike if they aren’t active
[laughing_gull] true Jennie!
[Darkover] I suspect in earlier Ages, they were not so somnolent.
[Xanaseb] Dems wilder maybe… but also less marred by evil conscience/influence
[Demosthenes] and nature is on its own side. Fangorn says that a few times.
[Pete_R] As Treebeard said, it takes a lot to rouse an ent
[Darkover] They just became that way over time.
[Jenniearcheo] Entwives seem to prefer “ordered” nature. Gardens and orchards
[Puma] well…..remember .in the willowmeads of tasarinan.treebeard had traveled far in the past
[Jenniearcheo] “Peace” meaning stuff growing where you planted it
[Darkover] I agree, Jennie, I noticed that too.
[Xanaseb] wanderer hi :)
[Jenniearcheo] Yeah, he was all over Beleriand and all
[Demosthenes] Darkover: gmta = great minds think alike (belatedly)
[laughing_gull] What had changed that made them become more …somnolent I guess?
[Pete_R] I wonder if th ents originally lived in the Tasarinan area, but moved eastward to escape Morgoth and Sauron
[Darkover] Thank you, Demosthenes
[Demosthenes] laughing_gull: good question
[Demosthenes] They grew up?
[Jenniearcheo] Well, he mentions the . . .what, “great darkness” or whatever? several times
[sunshower] in the Spring–Tasarinian
[Jenniearcheo] The flooding of the western bits
[Darkover] Maybe just the passage of time, laughing_gull. Maybe that is normal for Ents, the way Elves become more past-looking, and start to fade
[Jenniearcheo] Maybe that took the fun out of the world
[miriel] if they change over time, will they change from what we saw in LotR?
[sunshower] Summer–Ossiriand
[Demosthenes] Maybe it’s the same reason that elves became less interested in the world around them.
[Darkover] Probably, Miriel
[Jenniearcheo] mm
[Pete_R] that would probably do it, Jennie
[Demosthenes] hullo wanderer
[miriel] wb wanderer
[Demosthenes] miriel: I think they change in the span that we see them, actually.
[Demosthenes] And these changes are introduced by Merry and Pippin.
[Jenniearcheo] Interesting that he mentions deep dark places in woods. But he strongly implies Lothlorien is worse than the Old Forest in this regard. But we saw the opposite
[laughing_gull] Yes Treebeard mentions that later I think
[miriel] they got woken up, for sure
[galenrandir] Hello!
[Darkover] Maybe he was speaking metaphorically, Jennie
[Demosthenes] Elves taught Ents to speak … what do Merry and Pippin teach them? To be hasty/hastier?
[Jenniearcheo] Maybe. Why would ents worry about being captured by fairies, though?
[Jenniearcheo] That seems a mannish sort of worry
[Demosthenes] I think that’s likely.
[Pete_R] Treeberad, re: :ohlorien: “Land of the Valley of Singing Gold, that was it, once upon a time. Now it is the Dreamflower. Ah well! But it is a queer place, and not for just any one to venture in. I am surprised that you ever got out, but much more surprised that you ever got in: that has not happened to strangers for many a year. It is a queer land.”
[Darkover] I think Merry and Pippin also reminded Treebeard that the Ents are still part of M-E
[Pete_R] Lothlorien
[Xanaseb] lol @ being captured by fairies.
[PippinForTheWin] they reminded treebeard that even though people don’t really care for trees, they can still mke a difference
[Jenniearcheo] Well . . . that’s the parallel to the elves, really. Tolkien used to use the terms interchangably
[Pete_R] To not be so self-involved, Demosthenes?
[Darkover] and maybe, that the Ents had a responsibility to more than trees, with people like Saruman and Sauron around
[Demosthenes] Pete_R: like elves?
[Darkover] As Pete said
[Demosthenes] PippinForTheWin: that’s a good thought too.
[Pete_R] exactly, Demz
[PippinForTheWin] thanks
[Demosthenes] There seems to be a certain amount of (elvish) resignation about Fangorn at the start of the chapter that no longer is there at the end.
[PippinForTheWin] i think what really inspired treebeard was that these two little guys were standing up to this huge ent
[sunshower] what is with the liquids that seem to be gold and green?
[PippinForTheWin] so he figured that anyone of any size can change the world
[Jenniearcheo] Yeah, there was some spooky light juju going on in Treebeard’s house
[laughing_gull] That’s an interesting point, PippinForTheWin, he had kind of given up but the hobbits hadn’t
[Darkover] PippinForTheWin, I wouldn’t say they exactly “stood up” to him, more like they persuaded him. Don’t confuse book with movie.
[miriel] I think merry and pippin brought to light what he had been trying not to see, even if he knew of it in the back of his head
[Jenniearcheo] Most resignations, through the whole story, tend to disappear with greater understanding.
[sunshower] the blending of the two lights…..hmmmmm
[PippinForTheWin] true… hadn’t read the books in a long time
[Darkover] Merry and Pippin reminded the Ents of their responsibilities, I think
[PippinForTheWin] yeah, that there was still more that he could do to protect his forest
[Darkover] right
[PippinForTheWin] even when all else hope failed
[Pete_R] I’ve read the books 19 times, but I still forget sometimes some events that are movie-only and book-only. Time to read again
[Demosthenes] I think they both persuaded and inspired him. And that carried over in the entmoot. I think, maybe, they were a catalyst for something that might have happened eventually anyway. But which otherwise might have happened too late for either Rohan or for the Ents themselves?
[Demosthenes] What do people think of this?
[Xanaseb] hmm
[Jenniearcheo] Perhaps
[Xanaseb] yup
[galenrandir] i agree
[Xanaseb] I think so.
[Darkover] That sounds exactly right to me, Demosthenes
[laughing_gull] I don’t necessarily agree lol
[PippinForTheWin] could be
[Darkover] The Ents would have galvanized themselves eventually, I suspect, but it would have been too late.
[laughing_gull] I don’t think it’s made clear if it would have happened or not
[sunshower] Treebeard now understands “what he is up to”
[Demosthenes] We do know Treebeard was brooding over the destruction of the trees. But that’s all he was doing. He was … fatalistic?
[PippinForTheWin] though i don’t think that anyone with the determination of merry and pippin would at any other time come to him
[sunshower] thanks to M&P, I guess
[Jenniearcheo] Perhaps he was waiting for someone else to care about the ents
[Agonold] Whenever I read this chapter/ think about the entwives I feel like Pippin and Merry should have went back to the Old Forest and asked old Tom Bombadil if he knew anything about where the entwives might be.
[Demosthenes] Thanks to M&P. that’s … serendipity.
[Pete_R] Good point, Dems. R=The ents were so sleepy, mediatiating on their own navals that it would have taken a prolonged attack on the Old Forest to rouse them, but it probably would have been too late. Merry and Pippin saved the day
[Xanaseb] aha.
[Darkover] or Providence, Demosthenes
[Jenniearcheo] Of course, Tom may only have known if they’d passed through his land
[Darkover] I always wondered why they left.
[Darkover] the Entwives
[Pete_R] Listening to “In Dreams” on Pandora
[laughing_gull] I always feel sad that we never find out any more about the entwives
[Demosthenes] ‘Up we go!’ said Merry joyfully. ‘Now for a breath of air, and a sight of the land!’
[Demosthenes] They climbed and scrambled up the rock. If the stair had been made it was for bigger feet and longer legs than theirs.
[PippinForTheWin] i wish we knew what they looked like
[Demosthenes] So this really is a turning point.
[Agonold] knowing where they went is better than not knowing anything, jenniearcheo
[Pete_R] Sadly, Tolkien said somewhere (Letters, maybe), that the entwives were probably dead.
[Jenniearcheo] Well, they favored one sort of home and the ents another. They were less and less compatible as time went on, and then Sauron seems to have destroyed the orderly gardens and orchards.
[PippinForTheWin] did he say that in teh books?
[Demosthenes] Also, somewhat ironically, saruman encompasses his own destruction by bringing the hobbits in contact with Treebeard.
[Jenniearcheo] Did he kill them all? Hard to say
[Erestel] I think it was said that they traveled east, but for what reason I can’t remember, and that the Brown Lands by the Anduin were once their domain.
[miriel] indeed, it is sad, about the entwives
[Demosthenes] I’d never thought of that before.
[Pete_R] Not in the trilogy, PippinForTheWin, elsewhere
[miriel] and even if they were not dead, they had probably changed too much anyway
[Demosthenes] Is that providence?
[galenrandir] I’ve forgotten, is it known what happened to the Entwives after the Brown lands?
[Jenniearcheo] Yes, Dems. Interesting
[Pete_R] True, Demz, re: Saruman. And Sauron eventually brought his own destruction abiut in a number of ways–making the Ring was the biggest goof
[Darkover] The departure of the Entwives probably isn’t, but I think Merry and Pippin meeting up with Treebeard was providential
[laughing_gull] I’m sure Tolkien would have seen it as providence
[laughing_gull] considering his beliefs
[sunshower] *making* other lifeforms is kind of against the rules, isn’t it?
[Jenniearcheo] We never hear, galenrandir. Treebeard thinks they’ve gone west or something and that eventually they’ll meet up with them. Made it sound like they’d all board some log canoes for Valinor or sommat. Weird
[sunshower] or adapting, rather
[Pete_R] True, if Merry and Pippn hadn’t been captured by orcs and brought to the edge of the Old Forest, the war would have gone very differently
[Demosthenes] It also goes back to Gandalf speaking in favour of M&P after the Council. Someone like Glorfindel /probably/ could not have done this.
[Demosthenes] Don’t you think?
[sunshower] …even the smallest person….
[Darkover] Definitely, Demosthenes
[Jenniearcheo] true
[PippinForTheWin] definately
[Xanaseb] *definitely ;)
[Jenniearcheo] Particularly with the elvish-entish distrust that’s creeped into the relationship
[PippinForTheWin] *definitely whoops
[Demosthenes] Not just because of the weight of history between elves and ents. But also because of the different world-view hobbits bring.
[Demosthenes] yes jennie. the novelty of hobbits forces treebeard to re-examine many things.
[Jenniearcheo] Indeed
[Pete_R] Deemz, that was anither example of gandalf’s second sight. Like when he chose Bilbo. I like it when, on Unfisnished tales, Gimli asks if gandalf knew more than he was telling them about events, and Gandalf wouldn’t answer
[PippinForTheWin] i think hobbits are so untouched by corrupt ways, treebeard realizes that the opinions aren’t biased
[Demosthenes] ‘Why not make a new line?’ said Pippin.
[Demosthenes] ‘Half-grown hobbits, the hole-dwellers.
[Demosthenes] Put us in amongst the four, next to Man (the Big People) and you’ve got it.’
[Jenniearcheo] If the old verses about the peoples of the world are incomplete, perhaps their worldview needs a general rethink
[laughing_gull] Demosthenes would you care to elaborate on the different world-view? not sure I follow
[Demosthenes] ^^^ i think that is more important than it first seems.
[Darkover] and hobbits still take pleasure in life. They are not jaded or tired, like the older species. Treebeard later refers to them as “the laughing folk, the little people.” That may have been a factor.
[PippinForTheWin] they keep to themselves
[Demosthenes] I guess, culturally, Hobbits bring a positivity and “carry-on” attitude that seems to be inherent to them.
[Jenniearcheo] And they seem to care about the ents, once they hear the story.
[laughing_gull] keeping to themselves seems to be something ents and hobbits have in common interesting
[Jenniearcheo] How English
[laughing_gull] ok
[Demosthenes] That’s not something you always get from men or elves or dwarves.
[michael336] In Chapter 2 of Fellowship, Sam mentions someone seeing trees walking near the Shire. I always assumed that these were the Entwives.
[galenrandir] me too
[laughing_gull] me too michael
[Demosthenes] like Darkover says, they are not jaded.
[Jenniearcheo] Perhaps that’s part of why Treebeard didn’t do anything about Saruman for so long. At one time, they’d been friends. Even though Saruman had never imparted any information, at least he seemed to care.
[Darkover] IMO, Hobbits don’t have the curiosity that the Elves had–or had once–but they do care about people, in a way that is almost unique to them.
[sunshower] breath of fresh air, Hobbits
[Darkover] agreed, sunshower
[Demosthenes] Yeah, all these things.
[PippinForTheWin] i think treebeard thought that saruman would change back from his evil ways, but once he saw all the destruction,he lost hope
[galenrandir] I can see the entwives enjoying the area around the shire
[Darkover] I think you’re right, PippinFTW
[Demosthenes] PippinForTheWin: that’s another interesting thought. Did Treebeard hope that?
[Jenniearcheo] True, galenrandir. They do like cultivation
[PippinForTheWin] he didn’t want to believe it, which is why i think he didn’t want to take part in the war
[PippinForTheWin] he just hoped
[Demosthenes] He was in denial that things had changed?
[Pete_R] yes, Demz
[sunshower] elephant in the room thing
[PippinForTheWin] maybe?
[PippinForTheWin] not really sure
[Darkover] Also, the Ents don’t seem too big on making things happen–they seem to prefer to wait for things to happen.
[flufftheagent] hulloooo :)
[Jenniearcheo] Or he thought that since he was essentially betrayed by the one dude who cared at all . . . Why bother doing anything if nobody was “on his side”
[sunshower] hi flufftheagent
[Darkover] hi, flufftheagent
[Pete_R] he woudn’t accept it until he saw the damage that ors had done to the forest
[Demosthenes] I cannot remember that he ever told. me anything. And he got more and more like that; his face, as I remember it – I have not seen it for many a day – became like windows in a stone wall: windows with shutters inside.
[PippinForTheWin] exactly, Jenniearcheo. how could he know that Merry and Pippin wouldn’t turn out like saruman?
[sunshower] Pete_R, he *had* seen the damage before M&P got there, right?
[Darkover] Maybe that was how he rationalized it, Jennie–an Ent’s first responsibility is to the trees
[Jenniearcheo] Because unlike Saruman, they told him nearly their whole story.
[Pete_R] oh yeah, sunshower–need to read agan
[Demosthenes] ‘I think that I now understand what he is up to. He is plotting to become a Power. He has a mind of metal and wheels; and he does not care for growing things, except as far as they serve him for the moment. And now it is clear that he is a black traitor. He has taken up with foul folk, with the Orcs. ”
[galenrandir] he also liked their voices
[flufftheagent] what is this nit picking?
[sunshower] [--gets movie influences!
[laughing_gull] they “reminded him of something he couldn’t remember” right?
[Darkover] probably they reminded him of Entings, laughing_gull
[Demosthenes] ” he does not care for growing things, except as far as they serve him for the moment.” that’s an interesting summation of Saruman’s character.
[PippinForTheWin] maybe he hadn’t been that cared for since the Entwives?
[laughing_gull] that’s what I always thought
[Darkover] and an accurate one, Demosthenes
[michael336] I think Treebeard figured, “It’s not our fight.” He and the Ents had lived through ages of fighting among the other races. This is one more instance of the “hastiness” of the non-Ent races. Just sit back and let it play out. it doesn’t concern the Ents.
[Jenniearcheo] Growing things. So, the entwives preferred planned, orderly growing things and the ents preferred wild growing things. How like men they really are
[Darkover] I think that was Treebeard’s attitude, Michael336, until Merry and Pippin persuaded him otherwise.
[Demosthenes] michael336: there’s also a bit of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” going on in this hcapter.
[PippinForTheWin] It seems that the ents are more or less like the eagles- they stay out of anyone’s business unless it concerns them
[Pete_R] true, michael336, the ents had been withdrawn from the world for a few thousand years, probably
[Darkover] well, we could argue that is true for most people, PippinFTW
[Demosthenes] treebeard says as much:
[Demosthenes] ‘I will stop it!’ he boomed. ‘And you shall come with me. You may be able to help me. You will be helping your own friends that way, too; for if Saruman is not checked Rohan and Gondor will have an enemy behind as well as in front. Our roads go together – to Isengard!’
[michael336] I can see a parallel between the Ents and America’s isolationism prior to WW2. Not that Tolkien was making this connection….
[PippinForTheWin] Darkover, but at least in the land of ME, there are many similarities between the two
[Darkover] But in defense of the Ents, when they do make up their minds to do something, there is nothing halfway about it
[Demosthenes] Tolkien would deny any allegory, I’m sure.
[Demosthenes] Darkover: I think that’s the flip of being such patient things. Once the patience is exhausted there are no half measures.
[michael336] Not an allegory, but perhaps an inspiration?
[Demosthenes] We see this in the search ofr the entwives too i think.
[Pete_R] Isolationism is as old as civilization, I bet
[Darkover] well put, Demosthenes
[Jenniearcheo] Except that over time they ventured less and less far
[Demosthenes] They throw themselves wholly into trying to find them.
[Demosthenes] I guess that is … despair?
[Demosthenes] or acceptance.
[Jenniearcheo] Perhaps. Although I think he doesn’t quite want to accept their demise
[miriel] maybe a mix?
[Pete_R] sounds like despair
[Jenniearcheo] He still has hope
[Demosthenes] A faint hope.
[PippinForTheWin] i think he gains hope from M&P
[Pete_R] as in “The etwives may still be alive, but I doubt if we can find them”
[PippinForTheWin] maybe they remind him of teh Entwives
[miriel] but from his talk, it sounds like he does not want to accept it
[Demosthenes] Perhaps the loss of the Entwives made the ents more fatalistic too.
[Jenniearcheo] Their fave place was decimated by Sauron and he wonders where they went, rather than whether they’re dead
[Demosthenes] I’d never considered that.
[Pete_R] Or entings, more likely, PippinForTheWin :-)
[laughing_gull] interesting thought
[Jenniearcheo] mm
[Darkover] could be
[PippinForTheWin] i think he’s worried that the Entwives have forgotten him, and he feels forgotten until M&P show up
[Xanaseb] that’s a good point about the Entwives
[Darkover] and probably left the Ents feeling more isolated
[miriel] I wonder, with their long lives, wether they had a need as strong as other beings to multiply
[Jenniearcheo] Yes, PippinForTheWin
[Darkover] Maybe not, miriel. Ents remind me of Elves in that way.
[galenrandir] interesting thought Pippinforthewin
[Pete_R] Whatever, I’m sure tht Treebeard’s hopes of finding the entwives had been severely rocked, by the time he met M&P
[Xanaseb] I can’t remember the story he tells now.. did he say that they suddenly dissapeared one day, or that they realised one day that they could not find them?
[miriel] the latter
[Darkover] doesn’t he say they lost them?
[miriel] they crossed the river, and made gardens
[Darkover] and now they can’t find them?
[Demosthenes] I wonder, is there a moral in this for us in terms of being hasty versus being thougtful and patient?
[miriel] and the ents only visited now and again
[laughing_gull] I believe they disappeared after an attack by sauron correct?
[miriel] and one day when they visited, they were gone
[Pete_R] They just wandered farter and farther away, gradualy, didn’t they?
[Xanaseb] well, in that case, I think the way in which it happened was so gradual and unsensed by them that they probably wouldn’t have changed that much as a result of it happening IMO.
[Darkover] well, maybe the Ents were *too* patient, and the Entwives got tired of it. I suppose we will never know.
[Jenniearcheo] The preferred habitat of the ents and their entwives grew more and more incompatible
[Xanaseb] ah, well maybe not then
[Erestel] Yes, laughing_gull. Their gardens in the Brown Lands were destroyed during a war, more than likely the War of the Last Alliance.
[Jenniearcheo] yes
[Jenniearcheo] Or they went shopping.
[Jenniearcheo] And they never buy anything unless it takes a loooong tiiiiime to buyyyyyy
[Demosthenes] Erestel: or when Sauron invaded Eriador. It’s a bit obscure there.
[miriel] no xana, it still must have been a shock, they took them for granted, and then suddenly they were gone
[Xanaseb] yeah, just realised that miri
[Darkover] If the Entwives left voluntarily, I’ll be that is what did it–I’ll bet the Ents took them for granted.
[Pete_R] I remember it was long ago �C in the time of the war between Sauron and the Men of the Sea �C desire came over me to see Fimbrethil again. Very fair she was still in my eyes, when I had last seen her, though little like the Entmaiden of old. For the Entwives were bent and browned by their labour; their hair parched by the sun to the hue of ripe corn and their
[Pete_R] and their cheeks like red apples. Yet their eyes were still the eyes of our own people. We crossed over Anduin and came to their land: but we found a desert: it was all burned and uprooted, for war had passed over it. But the Entwives were not there. Long we called, and long we searched; and we asked all folk that we met which way the Entwives had gone. Some
[PippinForTheWin] I’m sorry- what book is all this mentioned in?
[Pete_R] Sorry, gDem, uess I’m getting ahead
[Darkover] Maybe they left, but what Pete just quoted kind of implies they all died/were killed off.
[laughing_gull] if you finish the quote it doesn’t
[Jenniearcheo] So they physically changed, as well.Turning brown and bent and parched. If ents can turn into trees . . . can entwives turn into something else?
[Erestel] @ PippinForTheWin: The Entwives story? Treebeard tells the story of the entwives in full in his chapter of The Two Towers.
[Demosthenes] I suspect Sauron’s minions destroyed them all. But there is nothing conclusive to back that up i think.
[Jenniearcheo] There is also a brief bit about their language (they liked Elvish) in the appendices
[PippinForTheWin] ok thanks wan’t sure if another book was involed Erestel
[Pete_R] Jennie, you know the song, “Willin’?” It has the lone, “Baked by the sun, driven by the snow.” That would have changed the entwives quite a bit, I think
[laughing_gull] “some said they had never seen them; some said tehy had seen them walking away west, and some said east, and other south”
[Darkover] Maybe we aren’t meant to know. Maybe Tolkien wanted to leave it a mystery.
[Pete_R] like Bombadil
[laughing_gull] yeah probably
[Demosthenes] jennie: if ents go treeish, entwives go … like fruit trees? like the orchards they made?
[Erestel] Or the unexplained magic influence over the Dead Marshes.
[Jenniearcheo] Perhaps they became corn and were harvested
[Demosthenes] hah
[laughing_gull] lol jennie
[Jenniearcheo] Jane Barleycorn?
[Darkover] What Jennie suggests may not be all that far out. Sounds like Changing Woman in Navaho mythology
[Jenniearcheo] It is ever my hope to be not far out
[Xanaseb] nice, indeed.
[michael336] Thoughtful and patient, yes, but not immobile.
[Darkover] although I admit, that probably wasn’t what Tolkien was thinking of when he wrote about them.
[Demosthenes] Would they change so much that the ents would not recognise them?
[Jenniearcheo] Quite possibly
[miriel] possibly
[Darkover] I suspect so
[Jenniearcheo] That’s a way to lose them, I’d guess
[PippinForTheWin] maybe they didn’t want the ents to recognize them, so they changed so they could go wherever they wanted and not be seen by the ents
[laughing_gull] I’d like to think that “their eyes would still be the eyes of our own people” as Treebeard said
[PippinForTheWin] so they wouldn’t be taken for granted again?
[Erestel] That’s a cruel way to play hard-to-get, PippinForTheWin.
[PippinForTheWin] but effective
[Jenniearcheo] More likely they were groves of apple trees . . . and then the war started . . .
[Jenniearcheo] We know what Europe looked like after WWI
[laughing_gull] :(
[Jenniearcheo] yeah
[Pete_R] from Lettrers: “I think that in fact the Entwives had disappeared for good, being destroyed with their gardens in the War of the Last Alliance (S. A. 3429-2441) when Sauron pursued a scorched earth policy and burned their land against the advance of the Allies down the Anduin.”
[Jenniearcheo] The battlefields seemed to inform both the Desolation of Smaug and the Dead Marshes
[Jenniearcheo] mhm
[Demosthenes] Pete_R: /if/ the entwives had also gone “treeish” then they would have found it hard to flee. perhaps.
[Jenniearcheo] True. And Treebeard doesn’t seem to think of this
[Demosthenes] and, that pretty much nails it down to the last alliance too. :)
[laughing_gull] what is interesting in all this to me is that it kind of shows how Tolkien didn’t necessarily know exactly what he was writing when he started with an idea
[Jenniearcheo] But then he hadn’t seen them for some time, and might not know they’d become treeish
[Pete_R] of their love of farmingthey seemed to be activ;ey
[PippinForTheWin] maybe they gave up when they started to be attacked and wanted to de as a beautiful fruit tree instead of an ent (which aren’t as beautiful)
[PippinForTheWin] *die, not de
[Darkover] now *that* sounds unduly fatalistic, PippinFTW
[PippinForTheWin] i know
[Demosthenes] laughing_gull: that’s a constant in Tolkien (and true of a lot of writers. one’s writing has the capacity to surprise even oneself.)
[PippinForTheWin] but you never really know with Tolkien
[Jenniearcheo] I’m sure they found the ents attractive. In a treeish sort of way
[Jenniearcheo] Otherwise nobody’d ever have made any entings
[PippinForTheWin] true, jennie
[PippinForTheWin] but maybe they didn’t see themselves as beautiful?
[Pete_R] who, my last post was decimated. What I wanted to say was, Demosthenes, I kinda doubt that the Entwives would ever become treeish, because they seemed to be very actively incvolved in farming, and maintaining their surroundings. Just MHO
[Demosthenes] that’s a fair point too
[Darkover] I’m inclined to agree with Pete_R about that.
[Demosthenes] I tend to agree
[Jenniearcheo] True. But it’s perhaps the point that the planned, cultivated “nature” was more vulnerable to outside decimation than the wild natural forest
[Jenniearcheo] Although that, too, is now under threat.
[PippinForTheWin] possibly
[Demosthenes] I have another question along a slightly different tack for people to consider.
[Pete_R] Now, Pandora is playing “Gollum’s Song” from film 2
[Darkover] ask away, Demosthenes
[Demosthenes] We’ve considered how Merry and Pippin change the ents, but what about the converse?
[Pete_R] hmm
[Jenniearcheo] Apart from the “water”?
[Demosthenes] yes :)
[Darkover] well, the ent draughts make them a lot taller, for one thing
[Demosthenes] true! too much and the hobbits will be like elendil the tall.
[Jenniearcheo] It broadens their perspective on what constitutes “people”, I’d guess
[Pete_R] I’m sure they both gained confidence, having influenced the assault on Isengard
[PippinForTheWin] i think for the first time, M&P have a chance to be apart of something really big
[laughing_gull] I feel like the ents are some of the first beings who are very mature compared to the hobbits, and yet connect with them on a personal level
[Darkover] and perhaps their involvement with the Ents made Pippin, at least, realize he and Merry weren’t just baggage, but could make a difference in the war
[PippinForTheWin] and maybe now they’re not as hasty :)
[Jenniearcheo] Back in the Old Forest, they considered Old Man Willow to be an evil entity. Now they might see him as a cranky old guy
[Demosthenes] Does Treebeard’s chiding them for being “hasty folk” affect their thinking?
[Pete_R] They both had their first real chance to make a strong positive contribution to the war
[PippinForTheWin] exactly, Darkover
[Jenniearcheo] Tom saw him as a person, and they thought that was part of Tom’s weirdness
[Demosthenes] PippinForTheWin: gmta.
[Darkover] Perhaps, even as the hobbits reminded the Ents that there was a lot to M-E, the Ents made the hobbits realize there was a lot more in the world than the Shire.
[Pete_R] haha–Hennie, does OMW have a cane to shake at whippersnappers?
[Darkover] Thanks, PippinFTW
[Pete_R] Jennie
[Jenniearcheo] :D
[Pete_R] It probably does affect their way of thinking, Demz, to some extent
[Demosthenes] I wonder whether it helps them “grow up
[Jenniearcheo] One of many things
[PippinForTheWin] i think also after the whole ordeal with the orcs, M&P have this almost parent-like figure who teaches them about wisdom
[sunshower] and in turn they teach too
[Pete_R] The whole experience of being abducted, and then, having to convince the ents to get involves help them to grow up, I guess
[michael336] Merry and Pippin for the first time were “on their own” rather than being “tag-alongs” with Frodo and the non-Hobbits. They move from being comic relief to significan characters and eventually warriors.
[PippinForTheWin] and they’re so confused about the world but they begin to understand how it works
[Demosthenes] PippinForTheWin: that’s one of the great contrasts — both the orcs and the ents offer hospitality … but very different types.
[Jenniearcheo] The entdraught sounds better than the medicine
[Demosthenes] It might be guinness.
[Jenniearcheo] ha
[Jenniearcheo] Guiness is good for you
[Darkover] lol
[Demosthenes] truth.
[PippinForTheWin] Merry and Pippin are just exposed to so many new species on this adventure, they don
[PippinForTheWin] they don’t know who to trust
[Jenniearcheo] Puts bark on your chest.
[Pete_R] I vote for Watney’s Red Barrel, Demz. ;-)
[LuthienXBeren] lol
[sunshower] ruff rff
[laughing_gull] I have to leave, this has been very cool, thank you all
[Jenniearcheo] Bye laughing_gull
[laughing_gull] bye :)
[LuthienXBeren] baii
[Pete_R] take care, laughing_gull
[sunshower] see ya laughing_gull
[Darkover] bye, laughing_gull
[PippinForTheWin] yeah everyone, i have to go bye, and thanks for chatting with me!!
[Darkover] bye, PippinFTW
[Demosthenes] But the ents don’t seem to expect anything from merry and pippin. their hospitality is like the ultimate in altruism. no strings attached?
[Jenniearcheo] Bye PippinForTheWin
[LuthienXBeren] aww, bye pip
[sunshower] bye PippinForTheWin
[Demosthenes] seeya PippinForTheWin!
[Erestel] Farewell, laughing_gull and PippinForTheWin!
[PippinForTheWin] hope to see you guys next week!
[Pete_R] adios, PippinForTheWin
[Jenniearcheo] True. he offers to drop them off at the border. Seeyaa
[Jenniearcheo] Although he welcomes the news.
[Jenniearcheo] Even though he can tell they’re holding back
[Demosthenes] And Quickbeam is the same.
[Demosthenes] We haven’t spoken much about QB yet
[Darkover] Well, at one point Treebeard admonished the hobbits for telling him too much about themselves, too soon, so he can hardly be upset if they do hold something back.
[Demosthenes] He didn’t want to reveal his true name
[Demosthenes] names and power.
[Jenniearcheo] Quickbeam’s story about the rowan trees was sad, but indicated that the entwives may have been a trifle ungrateful for their efforts to please them.
[Jenniearcheo] “meh.”
[miriel] that poem is one of my favourites
[miriel] Oh Orofarne Lassemissa Carnimirie
[Jenniearcheo] Yes, is there any more said about that, at all? Does someone’s true name become a vulnerability at some point? Is there an old example?
[miriel] Oh rowan fair
[sunshower] the song between ent/entwife?
[Jenniearcheo] No, later
[Demosthenes] jennie: not that i recall. but puma might know of one.
[Jenniearcheo] When Bregalad (Quickbeam) is singing them to sleep
[sunshower] ah, ok
[sunshower] the other one I know and love
[Jenniearcheo] A lament for the fallen rowan trees
[Pete_R] The poem is one f the saddest moments in the book, fpr me. Separate question: Would the Ents have the same eventual after-death destination as men and hobbits? Or some place similar of their own, since they are not just plant-life.
[LuthienXBeren] what about the ‘old forest’? does any one believe tolkien was insinuating something there, with the entwives?
[Jenniearcheo] Yes, that is a nice one. The seasonal thing. But it underscores my point about their divergent habitats
[Darkover] indeed, Jennie
[Jenniearcheo] They sort of seemed to think so, Pete. West was mentioned, and reunions
[Demosthenes] The rollingness of those entwords is really neat.
[Pete_R] Right, Jennie, that’s what got me thinking bout this
[Pete_R] yes, rolly words are boss.
[Darkover] I’m not sure the Ents would like the Undying Lands, though, assuming they would go there. If nothing ever changes, what would the Ents/Entwives have to tend and to cultivate?
[Erestel] The only instance I can think of that would imply vulnerability in revealing true names is Turin, who took different names to avoid his doomed fate. But as it was said to him (I can’t remember who said it. Finduilas?) “Your doom lies in yourself, not in your name.”
[Jenniearcheo] Yeah, so . . . moot in the end
[Jenniearcheo] Although lots of folks take multiple names in ME. Elves in particular. And a few Men
[sunshower] folks, weapons, places…
[Demosthenes] They seem long-lived but not immortal? I don’t know. that’s a curly one.
[Pete_R] true, Jennie but I think that Turin was the champeen of fake names
[Jenniearcheo] mm yes. Of course, some of that is underscoring the fact that time passes and people pass and the same place gets a new name
[Jenniearcheo] lol champeen
[Jenniearcheo] How would they get across the ocean? Strap themselves together into rafts??
[Darkover] lol, Jennie
[Demosthenes] wood floats
[Erestel] Sea turtles.
[Pete_R] We never heard pf an ent dying of old age. Does that mean they are like elves, that they only die if killed, or if they allow themselves to die willfully, from a sorrow?
[Darkover] “Mom, she’s touching me!”
[Jenniearcheo] Driftwood. Great.
[Darkover] That’s something I hadn’t considered, Pete_R
[Demosthenes] Pete_R: yeah i dunno. they seem effectively immortal.
[Pete_R] Jennie, they are walking trees. Wood floats. ;-)
[Demosthenes] is treeishness like the fading of the elves?
[michael336] Ah, the power of names….the Childlike Empress to Bastian: “Say my name!” And Fantasia was recreated. (Sorry for The Neverending Story reference….)
[Darkover] Maybe becoming tree-ish is the Entish equivalent of “fading.”
[Jenniearcheo] I think it’s akin to it
[Pete_R] Yeah, Treebeard is “Eldest, which makes him thousands of years old.
[Jenniearcheo] In that we don’t see many walking trees any more, nor yet elves
[Demosthenes] But the fading wasn’t a death, more of a exhausting weariness.
[sunshower] treebeard names an elder ent?
[Darkover] Have we just about finished our discussion? Because it is getting late here, and I am hungry.
[Demosthenes] “can’t cope, off to valinor”
[Jenniearcheo] He says there were three of them left from long ago
[Jenniearcheo] But one probably got cut down by Saruman, off west aways towards (or beyond?) Isengard
[sunshower] right Jenniearcheo
[Demosthenes] Darkover: i think we are nearly done. did we cover the outcome of the entmoot?
[Jenniearcheo] Have some entdraught, Darkover
[Pete_R] Nuh-uh, Jennie. Once when I was driving, a tree walked right in front of my car! It wasnt a Budweiser-induced hallucination, no matter what the judge said.
[Darkover] ha, Jennie
[Jenniearcheo] I see . . .
[sunshower] mmm hmm
[Darkover] OMW is out to get you, Pete
[Jenniearcheo] I believe they end at the first sight of Isenard, Dems
[Pete_R] Thank you, Darkover :-D
[Demosthenes] We come, we come with horn and drum: ta-runa runa runa rom!
[Jenniearcheo] So yes, they march
[sunshower] (pretty good movie scene)
[Jenniearcheo] With doom we come! With doom we come!
[Demosthenes] key:
[Demosthenes] ‘Quickly?’ said Treebeard. ‘Hoom! Yes, indeed. Quicker than I expected. Indeed I have not seen them roused like this for many an age. We Ents do not like being roused; and we never are roused unless it is clear to us that our trees and our lives are in great danger. That has not happened in this Forest since the wars of Sauron and the Men of the Sea.
[Erestel] “Night lies over Isengard.”
[Demosthenes] this has not happened in this forest since the wars of sauron and the men of the sea.
[Demosthenes] Also, “wizards ought to know better”
[sunshower] were the Ents involved in that????
[Pete_R] I recently met a couple in a cafe, He noticed my copy of UT, and asked about it. We talked about the books and films, and he said he was disappointed that the trees and ents didnt show up at Helm’s Deep in the movie. I told him about the EEs, and his eyes bugged out.
[Jenniearcheo] Did the forest once stretch all the way out over those mountains?
[Darkover] Well, Treebeard was right about that. The Istari were sent to make things better, not worse.
[Jenniearcheo] lol Aw, Pete. I hope he bought a copy
[Pete_R] The guy read Tolkien, his date reads Twiilight.
[Demosthenes] Darkover: Treebeard may have known more about the Istari than he let on.
[Pete_R] me too, Jennie
[Jenniearcheo] I read both, Pete. Nyah
[Darkover] He was probably there when they arrived, Demosthenes
[Jenniearcheo] Also Gabaldon, Pratchett, and Patrick O’Brian
[sunshower] I think this chapter says he was, Darkover
[Jenniearcheo] Though switching around can strip your mental gears
[Pete_R] sunshower, I would guess that theor involvement was tp flee from it. fpr their lives
[Demosthenes] Oh, isn’t there a parallel with macbeth here too?
[Demosthenes] or am i mistaken?
[Erestel] How so?
[Pete_R] I’m sure, Dem’s, re: Istari
[Darkover] Yeah, it doesn’t immediately leap to mind
[Demosthenes] trees marching on … something?
[Jenniearcheo] Well, M&P weren’t the only ones holding some stuff back
[Pete_R] Jennie, you’re an under-nerd :-p
[Jenniearcheo] An under nerd?
[sunshower] narnia trees marched!
[sunshower] ;)
[Darkover] Oh, yes, macbeth couldn’t fall until a certain forest moved
[Demosthenes] birnam wood
[Pete_R] Yes, Darkover, Treebeard would have been in ME fr many many many years before the wizards came
[Darkover] and the enemy’s men used the trees of that forest as camoflauge (sp?) so it looked as if the forest was moving
[michael336] I read that Tolkien was disappointed that Dunsinane Wood did not really march, so that is where he got the idea for the Ents.
[Darkover] well, a marching forest would be really cool, provided it wasn’t marching on *you*
[Pete_R] uber-nerd for reading Tolkien and Twilight
[Demosthenes] Macbeth shall never vanquished be until
[Demosthenes] Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill
[Demosthenes] Shall come against him.
[Erestel] I remember something like that. Tolkien saw Macbeth, and he was disappointed when it turned out the walking forest was men with leaves in their hats, or something like that. I’m probably getting some details wrong.
[Jenniearcheo] Oh, Uber. I see.
[Jenniearcheo] I’ve heard that too, about the wood
[Demosthenes] michael336: i read that also. and here we literally have a forest marching against its opressor. Don’t mess with nature is the lesson.
[Pete_R] By Macbeth, Dems, are you referring to the Burnham (sp?) Wood?
[Jenniearcheo] Well . . . don’t mess with wild untouched still strong nature. Cultivated nature is more vulnerable
[michael336] There
[Demosthenes] Yes pete.
[michael336] There’s a doctoral thesis for you: The Lord of the Rings is Tolkien’s rewriting of Shakespeare.
[Jenniearcheo] Seek ye out Mythgard Institute, michael336. They offer a Masters
[Demosthenes] Interesting little parallel.
[Demosthenes] Hooom, any final points?
[Pete_R] Did I read the Tolkien was disappointed that he never got to see the woods move in the play, so he wrote bout the Ents? Or was it about PJ, making the films?
[Jenniearcheo] lol Hooom
[Darkover] No, I think that’s about it
[Darkover] This has been interesting, as usual
[michael336] Jennie, I would LOVE to get a master’s from there! I’m waiting until they have accreditation.
[Demosthenes] pete: no, that is the story i’ve heard too. michael336 mentioned hearing it also.
[Erestel] I only remembered the parallel between the Witch-king and Macbeth where no living man and no man of woman born could slay them, respectively, and both were slain by loopholes (a woman and a man birthed via C-section).
[Pete_R] So, we’re at The Ent…The End, I mean?
[Demosthenes] Sorry it was a bit choppy at the start. I took a little while to wake up.
[Jenniearcheo] They say that by the time anyone has the requirements met, they’ll have accreditation. I’m only sorry I can’t afford the pittance yet
[Pete_R] okay, Demz. I am such a lousy typist that I miss a lot of posts, with my eyes glued to the keyboard
[Demosthenes] humph
[Jenniearcheo] ha
[Demosthenes] Pete_R: [09:27] [michael336] I read that Tolkien was disappointed that Dunsinane Wood did not really march, so that is where he got the idea for the Ents.
[Pete_R] K, thx.
[Demosthenes] Okay, next weekend. Earendil and Elwing?
[Darkover] Sounds good. See you all then.
[Jenniearcheo] Byee
[Darkover] Bye, all!
[Demosthenes] thanks to everyone for a great chat.
Session Close: Sun Apr 21 09:43:08 2013

Posted in Barlimans, Green Books, Hall of Fire, J.R.R. Tolkien, Languages, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, The Two Towers, Tolkien on April 26, 2013 by

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